The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, (MLC, 2006) establishes standards for medical care on board ship and ashore. These standards are reflected in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Maritime Regulations, §7.42.
This Marine Notice adopts, as guidance, the Quantification Addendum: International Medical Guide for Ships, 3rd Edition, (IMGS) published by the World Health Organization (WHO).
It specifically addresses:
Ship’s Medicine Chest: the kinds and amounts of medicines, medical supplies and equipment that should be considered for a ship’s medicine chest, and requirements for their re-supply, replacement, and disposal;
Recordkeeping: requirements for inventorying and recording medicines, including controlled drugs;
Seafarer Injury and Illness Medical Record (MI-105MR): introduction of the form to facilitate the exchange of medical information between ship and shore;
Ship Master’s Report Form (MI-105G): to record each medical case managed on board; and
Responsibilities/Training: owners/operators, Master and others with responsibilities for medical care.
This Notice supersedes version Jan/2023. Appendix B has been amended to include the new International Medical Guide for Seafarers and Fishers 1st Edition and Ship’s Medicine Chest, published by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).
This Notice applies to all vessels registered in the RMI.
1.0 Vessel Medicine Chests
1.1 Requirement for Carriage
All vessels must carry a medicine chest containing:
.1 medical supplies and equipment (See §1.3, below, and Appendix A); and
.2 the latest edition of applicable publications, forms, and charts (See Appendix B).
1.2 Medicine Chest Contents
.1 Except for ships carrying dangerous goods, the content of a ship's medicine chest is not mandated through any statutory requirement to which the Administrator is a party.
.2 Guidance on the medicines and medical supplies that should be maintained on board is provided in the International Medical Guide for Ships and its Quantification Addendum published by the WHO. This guidance, reproduced below in Appendix A, is recommended by MLC Guideline B22.214.171.124 for consideration when determining the contents of the medicine chest and medical equipment.
1.3 Carriage Requirements for Medicines and Medical Supplies
.1 All Vessels:
a. All vessels must stock their medicine chests so that the inventory (types, dosage and quantities of medicines, medical supplies, and equipment) is appropriate to the particular vessel's route, operation, and number of persons on board.
b. All vessels greater than 500 gross tons must, in addition to any other requirement, provide commercially available first aid kits for their engine room and galley.
.2 Vessels with a Doctor on Board:
a. Vessels, including passenger ships, carrying 100 or more persons, and ordinarily engaged on international voyages of more than three days' duration are required to carry a qualified medical doctor responsible for providing medical care.
b. For mobile offshore drilling units and mobile offshore units (as defined in MI-293), the requirement for a doctor on board may be met with a qualified medic or nurse where the unit is within helicopter range to shore medical services and facilities.
c. The exact inventory of medicines, medical equipment, and supplies should be determined by the ship owner or operator in consultation with a qualified medical practitioner, such as the ship's doctor or pharmacist.
.3 Vessels without a Doctor on Board:
a. The Administrator requires its vessels without a doctor on board to establish the contents of their medicine chest using as guidance the RMI Ship-Specific Medicine Chest Inventory Guidelines1, see Table 1.
b. The types, amounts, and quantities indicated by these tables are expected to vary based on the vessel route, operation, and the number of persons on board.
c. If there is any question about the appropriate types or quantities of medicines or supplies to be carried, the Administrator highly recommends the medicine chest contents be established by the ship owner or operator in consultation with a qualified medical practitioner or pharmacist.
This Marine Notice was issued on 1 September 2023.